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Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley - Lord Dunsany Well it would seem that the great Lord Dunsany was not infallible. I've loved every other book I've read by him and came to this one with accordingly high expectations and for the first time, he has not lived up to them.

In this story we follow Don Rodriquez after he inherits no more than a rapier and a mandolin from his lordly father and sets out on a quest to win himself a castle (with his rapier) and a lover (with his mandolin).

The problem for me was that the story just wasn't very interesting, the protagonist often impossibly dense and "surprise" plot developments not very surprising. All this probably wouldn't have mattered so much if I had found Dunsany's writing as engaging as I usually do but unfortunately it was not the case. Many of the passages I found long and laborious and frequently found my attention wandering. There were still flashes of Dunsany's brilliance, an occaisional turn of phrase that made me chuckle or left me in awe of its beauty.

Other quirky aspects were frequent, inexplicable and entirely unnecessary remarks of the narrator directed straight at the reader. Some of the dialogue of the characters left me feeling a little uncomfortable from a politically correct stand point (and believe me, I'm usually quite tolerant of this sort of thing in older authors).

Overall I would say that while this story still holds some of that Dunsany magic, I would not recommend it to anyone other than die-hard fans.